Simon has taken advantage of some fine weather and a gap in workload to have another look at the state of the hull – particularly around the bow. At first sight the damage seems to be confined to the bow doubler just below the starboard hawspipe (Photo 1191).
The bottom edge of the doubler seems to curve upwards as it approaches the stem, but looking from the front (Photo 1192) ...
...it is possible to ascertain where the doubler bottom edge should run – in a fairly straight line. So I would guess that at some point this area of the bow has been damaged, the protective Muntz sheathing torn, allowing the dreaded Gribble Worms to start work all along that bottom edge of the doubler – areas A, B and C (Photo 1193).
It would not surprise me if that bottom edge is completely gone and only the damaged Munz sheathing is maintaining the shape along A and B and towards C.
The important question is how far this has affected the hull underneath the doubler? It is very difficult to get close enough to the hull when the tide is out far enough to reveal the holes, but Simon is going to have to devise some way of doing it – with a ladder clamped to the hull and some sort of platform to sit on the mud. The only photo he has been able to take from the canoe raises more questions than it answers (Photo 1194).
A proper dry-dock inspection may be necessary, but very expensive. Still, having seen what has happened to poor old Ena, expensive is a relative term!
So, for the moment at least, he can at least enjoy the benefits of life on board on the Medway (Photo 1195).